If you've ever felt guilty for sippin' on that fourth cup of joe in the afternoon, don't.
A new study by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School found that drinking coffee can actually help relieve chronic pain.
Ever felt extra sensitive to pain when you haven't had enough sleep? Apparently coffee - and not medication - may be the answer.
The study focused on the results of sleep loss leading to increased pain and sensitivity to both painful and non-painful stimuli, and found that coffee can be just as good as over the counter painkillers.
The research was conducted on mice and discovered that caffeine "successfully blocked the pain hypersensitivity caused by both acute and chronic sleep loss."
The researchers concluded that rather than just taking painkillers, patients with chronic pain might benefit from better sleep habits or sleep-promoting medications at night, coupled with daytime alertness-promoting agents to try to break the pain cycle.
Some painkillers already include caffeine as an ingredient, although its mechanism of action isn't yet known.
Kiran Maski, MD, a specialist in sleep disorders at Boston Children's noted that: "This study suggests a novel approach to pain management that would be relatively easy to implement in clinical care."